Mount Olympus
To Glorify The Cult Of Tragedy
a 24h performance

mountolympus.be


Trailer - Mount Olympus from La Compagnie des Indes on Vimeo.

Mount Olympus / 24H
Twenty-four hours is a clear unit of time: a day and a night. It is also a simple unit of action: all actions take place within these 24 hours. It is the time for working, eating, relaxing and sleeping; it is the time to make love, argue, discuss, seduce, enjoy, fulfil one’s obligations, to care, to hate and to believe… all the actions that people carry out in each 24-hour period. And there is also a clear unit of space: the stage, that dark mirror of the world, that dark space where the imagination briefly lights up and then fades away.
Jan Fabre’s 24-hour project is an attack on time. Fabre stretches time, enters into combat with the second hand, or lets time tick faster or miss a beat. He intensifies the moment of time, that eternal here and now of the theatre, in a maelstrom of images that carry the viewer off to a different experience of time, a labyrinth in time where one wanders, lost between eternity and never, between yesterday and tomorrow, between sleeping and waking, between dream and reality. There is no present in the 24-hour project, it is a maze of lost time, frozen time, melting time. Fabre takes you into a landscape of time that surges outward or shrinks inward in the way only stage time can. He breaks time open to make it possible to slip into a different state of consciousness that can be felt through the ticking of the second hand. A time without telos.
This is a monumental project in which thirty performers and four generations appear on stage, an exceptional work by Fabre, who displays every dimension of his theatre work after more than thirty years of experience. The actors from his very first productions will be there, the old stagers, but also a young clique of new wolves. In times of crisis it’s useful and essential to think on a grand scale. The 24-hour project is one of these big projects, an exceptional format that is again intended to explore the boundaries of what can be said and shown on stage. It will be theatre of experience in the strictest sense of the term, a life spent in the theatre, twenty-four hours long, without interruption, one prolonged flow, one continuous scream. The actors wake and sleep on stage. For twenty-four hours Fabre directs his images using their stolen dreams.
Telos without time. Time is a slope, from the present to the past and vice versa. The most important source of inspiration for this production is Greek mythology. But in this instance the Greeks are stripped of their explanatory mode, of excessive understanding humanism, and are reduced to primal matters, cruel and shocking. It is the indecipherable Greeks that interest Fabre, heroes and heroines such as Medea, Antigone, Prometheus, Oedipus and Elektra, before they were checkmated by psychoanalysis. They perform deeds that are impenetrable, speak a language that falters, goes silent, rattles, vomits or becomes a mere scream. The moment of anagnorisis, of recognition, never comes: this Greek mythological world is dominated by darkness, the incomprehensible, pure violence, insane love. Fabre shows the battlefields where their wrath, their revolt and their passion are fought out. For twenty-four hours. The Trojan War never ends.
The 24-Hour Project cannibalises theatre. For a whole day and night the remnants are digested and ejected through the passage where everything ends up. In this way Fabre metamorphoses theatre. Like he has done all of his life.
Luk Van den Dries, Antwerp University

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Photos by Phil Griffin

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